How to Spot a Poker Bot

After the creation of “Cepheus,” the first of its kind, Poker bots have moved slightly more into prominence thanks to their calculative computing power.

Poker bots are an interesting creation, sat on both sides of the fence of player opinion with positive and negative uses. In this guide, I hope to explain a little more about what bots are, what they can do, and how you can spot one to ensure you don’t wind up getting swindled.

Poker Bot Positives

The first and foremost argument is a beneficial use of a bot for poker online is to improve your game through constant testing. World-renowned player Chris Ferguson has been known to employ computer simulations that he developed to improve his understanding of the game.

The second argument is to increase the number of people who can play the game. Setting up a series of bots and letting people play them is a good way of generating revenue. There have even been a few cases of bot-on-bot tournaments, and even a tournament consisting of humans against bots with humans making a very narrow win.

Poker Bot Negatives

These programs can, and are, used to cheat. There’s no avoiding that or pretending it doesn’t happen. They can pose as players through online games and defeat an astonishing amount of players. However, if a player spots a bot, they can become predictable very quickly so the user needs to always be watching.

For the player’s safety, here are a few tips to spot a poker bot. Before reading, it’s important that you know that you shouldn’t ever call someone out, even if you have strong reason to believe they are a bot. It could damage their reputation if you make that call and it could damage yours if you’re wrong. Contact a moderator quietly and an investigation should take place shortly after.

Tables

A player can play maybe 2 or 3 tables in one go. A program can play upwards of 20. Poker bots are not good at the game, they can’t read opponents and don’t understand many of the nuances that make the game great. So to maximize efficiency, they maximize play.

Playtime

The benefit of a program is that it does not fall to human conditions like rage or fatigue, it just keeps playing. If you notice that a player has been consistently playing for many, many hours without a break then they may be a bot.

Chat

Poker bots will often not respond to moderators or alerts. Now it’s important you realize that normal people may not respond to other players, many are there to play, not to talk. So don’t go reporting anyone who’s just not sociable. If a player doesn’t even answer to a moderator, then there is a little more call for suspicion.

Plays like a Robot

This one may seem like a joke but if you’re playing a game and someone seems to be playing each round in a way that seems absolutely identical then something may be up. If you encounter a player that takes the exact same amount of time to make every decision then it may be cause for concern. If you’re aware of what to look for, you’ll notice it when it happens.

I hope this was an informative and useful guide to help you play safer out there but also reminds you that not all robots are bad.

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